That is quite disturbing.
BTW, when did Dublin Bus start washing their buses? A proper Dublin bus is thickly coated in grime. Do these people have no respect for tradition?
*I often had to open a window on the 78A to see if I was anywhere near my stop*.
Leaving the buses aside for the moment, Parnell Square must must be in the text books as how not to do an urban space.
The ratio of road surface to 'square' is absurd. Why did the Georgians put in racetrack width carriageways in the first place? Did they sit up on the piano nobiles
gambling on, 'Ben Hur' style, sedan chair races around the square?
Then there's the Garden of Remembrance
. Every other capital city, with a revolutionary past, has a central square with a 'great monument to the Republic'
and we get a Chelsea Garden Show exhibit with a kiddies swimming pool that you never see anybody use,
The Garden of Remembrance uses all the worst ideas in 20th century memorial architecture: The morbid classicism, the stiff manicured lawns, the regimented seating, the Zepplin Field steps and proto fuhrer podium, the leaden sculpture, railings painted in gold and royal blue. If this says anything about 1916, it's how completely our cultural consciousness has become mainstream Anglo-Saxon.
I've seen the master plan (posted last year by Graham) and even though it looks far reaching, I don't think it gets anywhere near the radical re-think that a place like Parnell Square needs.
If you look at the evolution of the square, it started out as a philantropic idea, was exploited as a marketing tool, suceeded as a high-end residential venture, developed as a social hub and then slid into terminal decline when fashion moved on and the funcional demands of the institutions began to encroach on the concept.
To tap into the urban potential, the square has to be re-made. As well as being filled up with haphazard buildings, the square never had a southern edge. That should be the first priority, Build a southern edge. Top quality Civic buildings would fit the bill, an extension of the hospital on the right, and the new Central Library (the one they're trying to squeeze into the Ambassador) on the left. What's left, the upper two thirds, should be re-planned as a, hard surface, urban square with pockets of trees, edgy pavilions, a sunken garden if necessary, a great monument to the Republic (definitely). The bus stand thing could even work as an designed-in element of a re-made civic square. It would guarantee constant footfall and keep the space busy and vibrant.